Deciding what to do

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    My daughter is a junior she has been wanting to join navy and get her rn and work In The navy for few years then eventually get out and go to st. Jude's ...this has always been her goal she wants to help take care of our service men/women...my question is is this going to be possible without going to school first she is determined to go navy first...any information would be great
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    You don't get an RN. You become a RN through a license you obtain after completing a program that allows you to take the NCLEX, which will allow you to receive a license to practice as an RN when you pass. I have heard that military programs can be quite difficult to get into, but I don't know much else about it. Perhaps someone with more knowledge could offer their input?
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    I was in the army for 7.5 years and currently work at a military hospital (which is now joint but used to be primarily navy) as a civilian. You can receive your RN through the Navy but you have to apply to a specific program once you join and they will send you to school. If she wanted to have a job where she could be in healthcare she could become a corpsman. She will receive basic medical training (like a CNA) and then can be stationed in a hospital where she will learn and see a lot depending on where she is stationed. I am not sure about the details of the navy's program. In the army there are programs where they will let you go to nursing school full time and when you graduate you get commissioned as an officer, but owe them a certain amount of time for paying for school. The army also offers tuition assistance that can be used fairly easily while still in uniform. I used my TA to take a few pre reqs but chose to get out because it became difficult to serve and go to school. The army has an LPN program so if nursing is more important than the branch of service then she should consider joining the army. I was an army LPN, got out and used my school benefits (VA GI bill) to get my RN. The VA pays for school (highest in state tuition) and also gives the student a housing stipend.
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    Thank you...both....so if I am understanding this right she could go to navy and be going to school if you go to specific program or work as corpsman then eventually take her nclex to then recieve her rn?....
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    I'm a current active duty nurse in the Air Force. Here are her options as I see them.

    1. The Air Force has (and I believe every branch has) a nurse enlisted commissioning program; it allows you to go back to school full-time to obtain a bachelor's in nursing. She would have to serve as a medic for at least several years and apply for the program later. She would have to serve extra years as a nurse in her branch when she's done. Here's the kicker: just about every medic thinks they are going to do the same thing. These programs are very competitive, and therefore I wouldn't recommend she put her eggs in this basket.

    2. She could serve as an enlisted medic for 4 years, leave the military, and use her GI bill to go back to school afterwards for nearly free. That's feasible.

    3. She could use tuition assistance to take classes part time while serving as a medic. Likely she will find it difficult to do her nursing clinical rotations while on active duty, therefore I think you really could only do the pre-reqs (biology, chem, etc) this way. You probably couldn't complete the entire degree while on active duty.

    4. She could pay for nursing school with loans, finish a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), join the military as a nurse (and an officer), and have the military pay off her loans retroactively. This is a good option.

    5. She could apply for an ROTC scholarship, complete a BSN program, and join as a nurse. This is also a good option.
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    The join after the fact option includes gaining experience for a few years in the civilian world as a nurse before they will consider her application to become a military nurse. That means fighting with every other newly minted nurse for a job upon graduation. So the ROTC option is the safest/quickest route to go.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    I joined the army when I was 18. I served for 3 years as I intended to do. The GI Bill and college fund helped me get through my bachelor's program and I earned my RN. I was a civilian nurse for 14 years before returning to serve. I am an Air Force nurse now.

    Basically, I think that what she chooses at 18 does not write her entire future. It was never a mistake for me to go army first.

    To relate to you as a mom - my son just graduated high school and is leaving for army basic training this very week. I can not be prouder!
    Pixie.RN likes this.
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    My son leaves in 2 weeks for the navy....my daughter has also always wanted to do that...and she insist she wants to do that first...I am so proud of my kids for these adult decisions and scared also....I guess I just want to make sure she understands it may take longer ...but we have a year to figure it out....she insist she may want to stay in longer the her 4 years then take clinical ....which from my understanding can not be done while she in service her classes she needs prior to can be taken...?
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    Active duty Navy here. She can come in as a corpsman and work with nurses. However the odds on her getting her RN while in is slim unless she gets picked up for a commissioning program. The Navy is extremely competitive in all commissioning programs and the nursing program is probably a little tougher. But she can serve as a corpsman, receive the training and benefits and complete her degree after she completes her time. I've been in for 11 and will be leaving active duty at the end of the month to peruse my dream of being an RN. Nothing is impossible, but be armed with good information. Good luck!
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    Navykids, that's what I've spent the last few years doing. Prereqs were the easy part and having them paid for made life way better. It does take a little longer going this route due to restrictions on when they can start classes after getting to a command, but in the long run it's completely worth it. Good luck to your kids and you!


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